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Staff of the Nixa School District have sifted through the feedback, and have come up with a final proposal for the John C. Thomas School of Discovery. The magnet school will give students more options in learning science, math and the arts incorporated with technology. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports.
A media production studio, 1 to 1 personal computer devices and a P.E. department equipped with a Wii are some of the plans for the John C. Thomas School of Discovery. The school’s focus on science, technology, engineering and math, give it the acronym “STEM”- that’s S.T.E.M. This school would also include a minor focus on the arts. Debbie Lawson Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education says the schools facilities will be sure to reflect the S.T.E.M initiative.
“Probably a couple extra labs that would deal particularly in those areas. There could be some graphic arts computers. Composition for music, different programs that could be used that would be part of that program as well,” says Lawson.
The school would take the place of the John Thomas Elementary School, which has a centralized location and needs updating. Lawson also says this school would expect more parent involvement than other schools.
“The committee that did the proposal on guidelines and procedures had recommended that there be a compact that ask that parents spend 20 hours per year of involvement in this school per child. And that can look several different ways, maybe during the school day maybe in different parental activities and student activities hosted at night time. There will be very loose guidelines on that involvement, but just to be in the child’s education and understanding what’s going on at this school,” says Lawson.
However, with no bus transportation system for the school and an elevated dress code, several parents like Hala Gheriani may have issues with the school in regard to its place in the community.
“I have no concerns, as long as the community is involved in it and as long as the community is backing up that magnet school system. The concerns may arise later on if the school becomes and elitist school and then it will definitely make the community turn against it and it will be a decisive issue, says Gheriani.
For a link to the Nixa public schools’ website visit ksmu.org. For KSMU News, I’m Matthew Barnes.